Monday Musings ~ June 13, 2022


Not sure about you, but that’s not a problem for me. Happy Monday. May you and your ‘popular guest’ have a fabulous week. Try to stay cool this week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Memorial Day Monday ~ 2022


While today is the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer, we think of it as a day of reflection around the Ranch and plan to honor all service members, particularly those in our family who have served their country, with a special shout out to a niece’s son who graduated from high school this past week and enlisted in the Air Force just like both of his parents did. Way to go, Levi.

Memorial Day, a national holiday in the U.S., is where we officially remember and mourn all who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Originally known as “Decoration Day” following the Civil War when both Union and Confederate soldiers honored their dead by decorating their graves with flowers, it has morphed into its current form honoring all Americans who served and paid the ultimate price of freedom.

Have a safe and reflective day.


Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 6, 2022

If yesterday’s stock market dive has left you feeling a bit stressed, then hopefully this week’s Nature Friday edition will provide some comfort. As usual we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Hopefully these new pics from the Denver Botanical Gardens will be the antidote that can help restore your zen.

Norman & Elsa curated these images from my favorite area within Denver Botanical Garden’s grounds. Despite the fact the Ranch Hands are not being able to enjoy the beauty first hand (dogs are not permitted unless they are bona fide service dogs), it’s a place full of peaceful calm and serenity. Let’s go straight to the zen, shall we?

First, a little bit of historical info about the garden called Shofu-En, or “Garden of the Pine Winds.” Located in the northwestern corner of DBG, the Japanese Garden was designed by Koichi Kawana over 40 years ago (he also designed Japanese gardens in San Diego, Chicago, and St. Louis). Kawana transplanted over 100 locally sourced ponderosa pines that had been stunted by harsh, windy conditions in the Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder, Colorado. Some of the smaller trees are more than 200 years old and are meticulously maintained to preserve their size and shape through trimming and tying of their branches.

Kawana also designed the teahouse, that was originally built in Japan, disassembled and rebuilt on the site. In the 40 years I’ve lived in the metro area, I’ve only seen the tea house in use between the fence slats just once for a private group. Without sufficient access to the fenced area, I’ve never really been able to get a decent picture but learned tea ceremonies are held during summer months, pre-registration is required and it’s already sold out for the 2022 season.

There are several features that distinguish a Japanese garden. This little fella, camped out near the “Bee Hotel” featured in last week’s post, sweetly shouted them out as I moved toward the garden. Overall, the keys are: keep it natural, simple and uncluttered.

Welcome visitors..

Japanese gardening offer simple, peaceful spaces that promote contemplation and serenity. The space can be small or large but always focuses on natural elements to provide a relaxing retreat, underscoring nature’s impact on the space.

Japanese garden
Order and serenity are a hallmark of Japanese garden design.
Welcome to the Japanese Garden

Beautifully raked areas are often a prominent feature in a Japanese garden. No wonder dogs cannot accompany their owners. With Norman’s big paws, this area’s serenity and order would be undone in no time.

With Denver’s climate of being considered a mountain desert, a dry garden is in perfect harmony with Japanese garden design. It’s easy to slowly meander across the bridge while walking around a small water feature that feeds into the lake. Spaces are meant for viewing nature, provide balance and inspiring peaceful meditation.

Japanese garden
Boulders and a small  bridge adds to the zen feeling.

The pièce de résistance centerpiece of the garden is the pond and this redbud tree highlights it beautifully with spring color.

Japanese Garden
Calm at the pond area.
Evergreen trees surround the pond.
Japanese bells.
Temple Bells.

These temple bells were provided by a generous DBG patron. They are exquisite and one can only imagine the sound they could make when struck.

Koi pond
Koi enjoying a spot of sun.

No Japanese garden is complete without a Koi pond. These guys slowly meander about adding to the whole peacefulness of the space.

I hope this short tour lowered your blood pressure and just in time for a Mother’s Day celebration this weekend. Everyone at the Ranch wish mum’s everywhere, a lovely day with meaningful time with their children, whether they have two or four feet.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 25, 2022


Just a heads up…we will be visiting with patients and nurses for the next couple of days so our responses may be somewhat delayed but we’ll do our very best. We hope you have a happy Monday and ‘pawsome’ week.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 15, 2022

Welcome to the Good Friday edition of Nature Friday. As always, we’re joining our hosts, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Nature has been conspiring against us most of this week with ongoing high winds every day, making Wi-Fi sporadic at best. The laptop did a death gasp and am now trying to post something from my phone. People who are able to function that way have my greatest admiration.

As I’m clearly inept in my feeble attempts of trying to post from a phone (trying to insert images is beyond challenging), I’ll just end this painful exercise by hoping everyone has a Happy Easter, Passover or Ramadanwhichever holiday you celebrate.

Hopefully we’ll be back and fully functioning online next week. Till then, do good things, smile and be kind. But for heavens sake, make sure to get outside and enjoy some of the Nature shares. Had I been able to figure out how to add additional photos, you no doubt would have agreed with me. ☮️

Live, love, bark🐾

Purple Day ~ 2022

Purple Day

This weekend we are honored to join Fur Angel Gibson from the FiveSibes blog and fellow epi-warrior, Olivia at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs for the 2022 edition acknowledging Purple Day for Epilepsy (with apologies for being a day late of the actual date, March 26-I got my dates mixed up).

The Ninja rocking her purple bandana

You may recall, the Ranch’s resident Ninja (aka Elsa) was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy a couple of weeks following her adoption. You can read part of her story here.

We are so grateful for all the info Gibson and Olivia have shared on their respective blogs about epilepsy and remain appreciative for their leadership in sharing information and resources. Please visit the Purple Day website for additional information about epilepsy. Elsa is living proof dogs who have been diagnosed with this condition can live relatively normal and productive lives.

Elsa ‘reading’ the”What’s Wrong with Gibson” book

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Praying for Peace in Ukraine ~ March 26, 2022

Peace“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
-Benjamin Franklin


This weekend, like so many others around Blogville, we join the “Blog for Peace” blog hop hosted by Mimi Lenox from BlogBlast4Peace. Every day we wince and shed tears for the people and pets of Ukraine as they defend themselves from the Russian invasion. The images coming out of Ukraine have been absolutely heartbreaking, especially when you see families walking to train stations, dragging a piece of luggage while carrying their pets, as they flee the bombing of their hometowns.

Blog for Peace
Send your peace globe and a link to your post to Mimi Lenox at or tag Mimi Lenox on Facebook

We hope you will do your part and promote peace by helping the Ukrainians any way you are able.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 11, 2022

Better late than never, right? Sorry we’re late getting this published. This week’s offering is fairly slim/grim as it was doggone freezing and blanketed in snow, making picture taking impossible. I had to put my thinking cap on to share any nature pics that weren’t cold and/or white.

The day before the cold and white set in, I made a quick last minute visit down to my dad’s house with my oldest granddaughter who wanted to spend her day off with him. He was absolutely delighted to see her and hear all about her recent engagement. She brought one of her pooches, Marley, who is one of the most engaging pups around and loves to show off his repertoire of cute tricks. Everyone loves him and my 91-year old dad was no exception.

Put me down so I can show off

As usual, we are joining our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Remember to click on the link to see what others have shared.

So let’s get to it, shall we? As I mentioned, I decided to spare you a(nother) post of snow pics (you’re welcome) which meant I had to dig deep into the photo archives for something else. Given that I visited my dad this week, I couldn’t help but share this tiny little blue bird I saw on a previous visit. Isn’t it totally adorable? It captivated me with its striking blue color since there’s nothing like them in the city. The image itself wasn’t all that great since it was photographed through the windows and I couldn’t risk disturbing him by going outside for an up close look.


I had originally thought of sharing some interesting shadow pics I have but then realized they had snow as well, so one little bird is all I can offer this week. Hopefully with a forecast of warmer temps beginning tomorrow, I’ll be able to do better next time.

Before we go, we want to remind you that it’s that time of year again (at least in the US) when we try to alter time change the clocks. Oh the plus side in the minds of many dogs and cats, dinner will be served an hour early, on the other hand, they’ll be losing an hour of beauty sleep this weekend. I hope the sunshine on Sunday is worth it. DST makes me crabbish and takes some time for my bio-rhythms to adjust. #bahhumbug

DST Well, that’s it from us. We hope you are able to suss out some nature scenes this weekend. Don’t forget to “Spring Forward” for Daylight Saving time Saturday night before you go to bed. We hope the hour less of sleep doesn’t make you too cranky and you’re able to enjoy the sunshine later on Sunday.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

National Read Across America Day ~ 2022

Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent; a time of sacrifice, self-discipline and reflection leading up to Easter. Christians across the world often decide to give up something they enjoy like chocolate or alcohol for instance or  they agree to do special works of service/goodness. The Ranch Hands said “No dice!” on giving anything up but they assured me they would step up and be better doggos on their walks after kind of forgetting what a loose leash walk really means following the recent extended cold spell when walks were impossible. Apparently short term memory can be a problem with dogs.

In addition to Lent, today also marks a different kind of celebration. Today is “Read Across America Day,” created in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), as a way to encourage children to read. This annual day is typically held today on Theodor S. Geisel’s birthday, a longtime proponent of reading. You may know him as the estimable, Dr. Seuss. The NEA endorses and promotes the importance of reading and decided to combine their efforts every year on his birthdate.

Dr. Seuss

Little known fact: did you know Dr. Seuss created the word nerd? The first documented use of the word was in his 1950 book, “If I Ran the Zoo” about a boy named Gerald McGrew who visits a zoo and wonders how it might look if he ran it.

We hope you’ll join ‘Thing One and Thing Two’ along with the cats and dogs of Blogville today by reading a book as we celebrate National Read Across America day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ February 28, 2022

Welcome to the last day of the shortest month of the year. Being on the cusp of multiple seasons that happen this time of year (winter/spring, mud/spring/winter), comfort food in particular tends to take center stage around the Ranch. But beware of leaving your plate unattended for too long, otherwise you may become an unwilling victim like today’s smile.


A bowl of popcorn made over the weekend stayed surprisingly untouched although I did notice a few more drool spots on the ottoman. Such earnest innocence in those faces.

Elsa & Norman

Snickering dog

Have a super Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾